Gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer has removed all mentions of N95 from the marketing material for the Razer Zephyr, a “wearable air purifier” mask that the company unveiled at CES 2021 and later launched during Q4 2021.
Razer previously claimed that the Zephyr, alongside the upcoming Zephyr Pro, was outfitted with “N95 Grade” filters. Tech YouTuber Naomi Wu criticized Razer in a Tweet thread, highlighting the fact that since the Zephyr and Zephyr Pro aren’t officially certified by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Razer’s use of N95 in its marketing was irresponsible. Razer then removed mentions of N95 following public backlash. According to Wu, the removal of N95 from Razer’s marketing was prompted by contact from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and NIOSH.
Razer has responded to public scrutiny of the mask’s efficacy by publishing The Science Behind Razer Zephyr, a detailed webpage that lists a series of standards Razer claims the Zephyr meets as well as various test results. However, many still argue that the mask is ineffective, with Naomi Wu pointing out that the filters are undersized and that its silicone face gasket falls off too easily in her engineering breakdown of the mask.
Notably, Razer still claims that wearers of the Zephyr can “stay safe with its replaceable air filters for daily protection,” despite the fact that the mask’s marketing then states that “Razer Zephyr is not a medical device, respirator, surgical mask or personal protective equipment (PPE) and is not meant to be used on medical or clinical settings.” This contradictory messaging makes it difficult to discern whether or not the mask offers any beneficial protection at all. Ultimately, if you’re looking for consistent and effective protection during the pandemic, you won’t get it while wearing the Razer Zephyr or Razer Zephyr Pro.
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